The shackling of Black inmates in labor commits two wrongs against Black women that it does not commit against their white counterparts. First, it evokes the wrongs of slavery and the denial of Black women's reproductive autonomy within that institution, and second, in doing so, it undermines the possibility of reframing motherhood as a radical political act. At the very least, it transforms birth from an experience of joy to one of fear and pain.

As Tucker Culbertson writes in Another Genealogy of Equality: Further Arguments Against the Moral Politics of Colorblind Constitutionalism,Through its insistence upon a conception of racial caste and equality as a matter of purging racial difference from governance as an absolute moral evil, the colorblind courts have directly impinged the possibility for people of color to bring claims of discrimination.

A colorblind interpretation of the equal protection clause allows our most deep-seated, closely held racisms--those that are so deeply ingrained that they no longer vocalized--to stand unchallenged. As a result, the law continues to fail to protect Black women from attacks on their reproductive autonomy. The fact that Black women have been giving birth in chains for some 400 years makes it no less appalling. On the contrary--it is nothing short of shameful that such an injustice has been permitted to exist for so long.